Super curly hair - Hairdresser term for Black says Barber who bucks trend

Discussion in 'Black Men - Fathers - Brothers - Sons' started by dustyelbow, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. dustyelbow

    dustyelbow Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Oct 25, 2005
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    From Canada but he demonstrating or exercising principle in what he believes in.
    Barber Bucks Trend
    Ron Albertson, the Hamilton Spectator

    By Laura Thompson
    The Hamilton Spectator(Jul 5, 2006)

    Sean Gibson is a renegade barber. He isn't certified and doesn't want to be a hairstylist.

    But the 32-year-old is willing to risk a hefty $20,000 fine to open a Hamilton barber school he says fills a need the government continues to ignore.

    After 14 years running Jordyn's, a shop named after his eldest daughter, Gibson is setting up The Barber Centre, a landmark school that teaches a trade he says doesn't jell with the government's blanket hairstyling category. He's spent the last five years lobbying the provincial government to recognize barbering as a distinct trade, something it was until 1991.

    "No one specifically has made this an issue, but it's definitely something I'm making an issue," he said. "I could go on for the rest of my life cutting hair and nobody would care and nobody would know. But then our trade would disappear. There's no one to pass the baton on for the last leg of the race."

    Janice Wainright, a program co-ordinator with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, said the province considered his proposal, but decided not to support it based on a recommendation of the hairstylist industry committee that said 90 per cent of barbering skills are included in the hairstyling curriculum.

    It's something Gibson has heard since he first started clipping -- learn everything and then specialize. But he doesn't mind balking the system. "I'm not a licensed stylist," he said. "I'm a barber. They lump us under hairdressing when we don't do hairdressing."

    In Gibson's shop, there aren't any perm rods or colouring chemicals. Just clippers, scissors and Barbercide. At 16, he learned to cut hair the old fashioned way -- by watching and then doing. Before long, he was known in school as the guy with the clippers, the one who gave a good haircut.

    Gibson's barber school opened on June 29 at the same Main and Wentworth location where he's cut hair for the last 14 years. For the first time, a sign with the name of the business went up above the shop's facade. Until now, Gibson had always relied on word-of-mouth to grow his client base.

    The school offers a two-month course combining theory with cutting basics. One unit focuses on super curly hair, an industry term for the type of hair black people have.

    "Black is what I call it. That's what it is," Gibson said, adding that many hairstyling courses overlook ethnic hair types -- something he says his course won't do. So far, four students have enrolled at the school and Gibson's barbershop has transformed into a makeshift classroom. There are chairs and desks, a whiteboard, even lockers at the back.

    Chelsey MacDonald, 18, enrolled because she wants to make some extra cash as a barber. That the $1,500 program doesn't have government accreditation is fine with her.

    "If we're good, then that should speak for itself," she said.

    Leroy Caines, 28, a ceramic tiler who wants to supplement his income with barbering, said The Barber Centre might help Gibson's cause.

    But the province doesn't look kindly on those operating on the fringe of the industry. Gibson could face up to a $20,000 fine for being a "basement Betty," a euphemism for unlicensed hairstylists. Basement Betties are generally only investigated and fined following complaints.

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